Non-profit forms community pharmacy to assist people unable to afford medications

An Atlanta-based non-profit is providing life-saving prescription drugs to people struggling to pay for them.

The St. Vincent de Paul Georgia Community Pharmacy opened on Monday and staff said they're actively looking for patients in need of these resources. They're hoping to help with diabetes, cardiovascular, mental health, and chronic conditions.

"We want to make it easier for people to get the medication that they need," Chief Executive Officer of SVdP Georgia Patrick McNulty explained.

He said they began working on this initiative in 2017.

The need for assistance has expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A study that was done just a couple of years ago over 15 percent of Georgia residents, now we think it's closer to 20 percent of the residents, are without healthcare so we are filling an important gap there," McNulty said.

It's a gap McNulty said has left some of their clients with a tough choice.

"A lot of times people are faced with the tough decision of whether or not they can pay for their medication or provide for their families with food and clothing," he described.

When FOX 5 News stopped by Tuesday, their pharmacist was stocking the shelves with maintenance medication for clients unable to afford them.

The volunteer-run pharmacy is located inside their headquarters on Chamblee Tucker Road in DeKalb County.

"People have to be able to take care of themselves to be able to provide for others," McNulty described.

St. Vincent de Paul Georgia focuses on providing the community with access to food, clothing, financial aid and healthcare.

While this pharmacy is in metro Atlanta, the plan is to assist people statewide.

"We know there's needs that extend to a lot of those less populated areas," said McNulty.

The pharmacy will serve eligible patients with an income no greater than 200% of the federal poverty level and anyone over the age of 18 that's uninsured.

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